Pentagon urges Florida pastor to cancel planned Koran burning

09:02, September 10, 2010      

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U.S. Defense Department on Thursday urged Florida pastor Terry Jones to cancel his plan to burn copies of the Koran on the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Pentagon Spokesman Geoff Morrell made the comment during a press briefing. He said Defense Secretary Robert Gates and top aides are discussing whether Gates should intervene personally.

"This is obviously of serious concern to us," Morrell said. "We believe it could seriously endanger our forces. So this is something we are actively discussing within the administration in terms of taking this unusual measure of calling this pastor and trying to convince him that it is not the right thing to proceed with."

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have already pleaded Jones to rethink his plans. Military leaders have made it clear that the plan would endanger troops serving abroad.

Gates has not made public comments on the matter yet. Morrell said the defense chief "is a very active participant in these conversations," and is "as concerned about this as everyone you have seen on television speaking on this."

Source: Xinhua


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